Saturday, 15 March 2008

Pacesetter wanted............

I have suggested to my daughter, who is running the 5K 2008 Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK, that she implement a rudimentary training programme, and volunteered small dog as a pacesetter.

Despite her size, small dog is very enthusiastic about setting a cracking pace on walks. Our normal view is of her rear end, tail wagging, ears back, striding out with great gusto. The faster we go, the faster she goes, so it seemed like a good idea to offer her services.

However, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that it is not such a good idea after all.

For example, she never travels in a straight line, except when in hot pursuit of a squirrel or rat. She weaves back and forth across our paths, distracted by every leaf and sweet wrapper.
Also she subscribes to a rigourous 'stop and sniff' policy, which she takes extremely seriously. This applies not only to picking up her 'wee mails' but to each and every scent left by every mammal, bird and insect which has crossed her path in the last 10 years.

Which is a lot.

A very lot.

As a consequence, walks with small dog consist of a stimulating series of fast pace bursts, with sudden swerves left and right followed by lengthy explorational sniffs until she is dragged back into line.

This of course renders her useless as a pacesetter. So back to the drawing board.

Incidentally, as I was looking for a suitable image to illustrate 'stop and sniff' (I don't suggest you Google it too, as the phrase yields some extremely unsavoury results) I came across the following, which I think is ace. A rare example of displacement activity producing a little gem.

So with apologies to William Henry Davies...........


What is this life - a dog's life - if
We have no time to stop and sniff
No time when hauled along on leads
To gratify our urgent needs.
No time to bound about on grass
And greet whatever dogs may pass,
No time to stand with waving stern
Sniff and be sniffed at in one's turn
A poor life for a canine if
There is no time to stop and sniff.
Michael Lane
(From: Off The Wall. A Collection Of Poems From The Mole Valley Poets For Display In Waiting Rooms, 2000)
Brilliant stuff. I'll print it out and stick it above small dog's basket........

No comments: